German culture can be felt in many places, and just now especially, because the German Festival is in full swing. An all night techno rave saw thousands moving rhythmically through the night, and we heard there were hardly any drugs consumed. Obviously ecstasy has many different meanings these days. For some it means listening to the beat and letting it transport them into the realm of tribal ancestry; for others it is the popping of a pill.
In more conservative circles one is looking forward to Beethoven’s Violin Concerto after an elegant reception in the fabulous lobby of Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto. Surely a lot of people from Kitchener will show up, since there is a still existing unhappiness over the loss of Maestro Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and a third round of new board members election in the offing. Interesting how this little problem is not going away! Interesting also how we keep getting more skilled in holding our officials more accountable! More power to us!
The Goethe Institute is having a fabulous series of film presentations worth checking out and there are various art galleries showing Berlin related art, which we have not had time yet to check out. It is a natural that Berlin should be the theme for this years festivities, after all, it is 15 years ago that the wall fell and Berlin could look forward to be Germany’s capital city again. We found it astounding that we could not raise any interest in this fact among those surveyed and no specific reason was given either. Perhaps it is just too far removed for some folks. Once someone has been here nearly a lifetime some events back home have not the same impact as though one lives next door.
The German National Tourist Bureau held a fabulous event at the Ontario Club, which is by now the preferred venue for German culture based events. The culinary skills of the chef and kitchen are reason alone to enjoy a visit in the club. Thus it was no surprise that there was hardly enough standing room around the buffets filled with mouth-watering delicacies reminiscent of Berlin. Certainly the beer was an original: Berliner Weisse, you know, a blonde Weizen Bier with Raspberry juice, unforgettable!
And while everyone who is anyone was there, it was a special couple that caused a stir among local German expatriates. Mr. and Mrs. Fournes, an ex Consul General, were visiting for the first time after a long absence and duties in Danzig and Berlin. Now retired they can travel and visit their favourite places and Canada has a very special place in their hearts.
Lufthansa’s generous flight ticket to Berlin with visits to galleries and hotel stay was won by a lovely Chinese couple. Our current Consul General Dr. Klaus Rupprecht spoke to them in Chinese, and low and behold, the answer came in German!
Enjoy what is left of the festival!
German Canadian Talent on stage in Toronto
The past has a way of always catching up, even in art. When we find someone from our ranks doing well we always stand up and applaud. Thus we discovered that Attila Schwarze is having quite a bit of success as an actor, after having mastered already the secrets and skills of graphic design. He came to our attention because this handsome German-Canadian is performing in the newest version of the "Diary of Anne Frank", which is being performed most of October in the Bathurst Street Theatre.
His German is really good. Even though he was born here he spent many years in Germany, lived with the grandparents in northern Germany and after having gone back and forth a few times learned a trade there, only to follow it up with a proper college education in England. He has now settled again in Canada and the theatre bug has bitten and he is showing more than just promise with a few juicy parts already under his belt. It does not hurt that he is very easy on the eyes, a real heartthrob!
He is very aware of his German heritage and researched some of the more recent history in order to understand it better. What he finds especially interesting is the difference in views as far as Germany’s history is concerned and how we all deal with it, here and abroad.
Playing a bad guy, he is the arresting German officer in the play, does not bother him. It is a role, something an actor does. Besides, he is right, there has not been an actor that did not relish playing an evil part occasionally.
Hey, let us see how our young talent is making out and let us applaud, because creative forces are always worth lauding! SFR.
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